Ethics: Christian Cuts Unbelieving Family Members Out of Life

What would you do Wednesday!

I have no idea how often something similar to today’s scenario happens, but I know it does.

While catching up with one of your fellow Christians, you ask about their family.  Your friend says,”Most of them are well, but I’m not sure about my sister since we aren’t talking anymore. She’s pretty much out of my life now.”

Pausing, you ask, “What in the world are you talking about?”

Your friend explains that for years the relationship with their sister has not been the most fruitful. There has always been some underlying, unidentified tension, but you’ve always been cordial to one another. There was never any fighting or anything. There have been passing remarks from the sister’s husband from time to time on Facebook including some vulgarity. Yet, know they don’t share the same Christian worldview, some the of comments and vulgarity sort of come with the territory.

However, the gauntlet was finally thrown down by the sister explains your friend. A slight political disagreement ensued which could have ended easily by cordial conversation about the actual topic. During this “dialogue” your friend shared the gospel and God’s love in an attempt to reconcile and calms things down. Instead, the sister and husband began throwing out f-bombs, vulgar names, and ridicule of your friend’s Christian faith.

What seems to have happened is the sister and husband showed their true thoughts about your friend and your friend’s faith. Heartbroken, your friend made one last plea of reconciliation, but to no avail. So, the unbelieving family was unfriended on Facebook who intern blocked your friend.

Your friend is now at peace with the decision to move on explaining that the door is open if the family wants to reach out, but with all the hate they expressed it was time to dust the sandals off and move on.

What would you do?

  • Advise your friend to offer continued reconciliation and wait.
  • Advise your friend to offer reconciliation and leave them alone.
  • Encourage your friend to fire back in righteous anger.
  • Or…

tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 anonymous March 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Been there, done that. I followed the father of the prodigal who did not feel llike he had to chase after the son, send him letters, or keep trying to reconcile. He let him go, as heartbreaking as it was. When the son came to his senses, his father was waiting for him. He undoubtedly prayed in the meantime and kept his heart tender.

We Christians need to get ready. This is going to become more and more common. Once upon a time, in a land called America, people used to put up with one another’s differences, by and large. It was called tolerance or “live and let live.” You did not have to agree but you could agree to disagree and still have respect for one another and still have cordial contact with one another. Not anymore. The ugly attitudes and divisive speech that passes for news these days on our major news networks has become normal for human relationships. The social media enables non-stop gossip, slander and more divisiveness. Even family relationships are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. These days, disagreement is considered hate. Hate is considered a crime. What is done to criminals?

2 mburatov March 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Ditto. I also come from an abusive family where I was and remain the family punching bag. Earning a Ph.D. and having my own family and holding down a faculty job at a 4-year institution is not good enough for them. I’m still incompetent in everything I do and they let me know it. I moved away. I let them be. I take my family is small doses and that keeps everything fine. Therefore, I would elect for the “Advise your friend to offer reconciliation and leave them alone” option. You can’t force someone into reconciliation. If they will not come, then you have done what you can and it is up to you to let them alone and let others or the Spirit of God work on them and their consciences.

3 Mike D March 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

This is very hard. I have not spoken to my older brother in 5 years. I apologized for what triggered the initial battle but he didn’t accept it. He’s not a believer and in many ways my life has been easier in not speaking to him. He involved everyone else in our family in the fight, not caring to spare them the pain. I tried to reconcile w him via a phone call last year when I got engaged but he wasn’t interested (again….I was 75% relieved). I don’t think of him much but I HAVE to greet him and be pleasant when I see him next (a wedding in May), for my wife’s sake and more importantly for Christ’s sake.

4 Mark March 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

Mike D., thanks for sharing. Your situation sounds painful. I’m sorry. I pray God will reconcile you two.


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